I was taken back to the station. Officer Barney* and Officer Crouch* (*obviously pseudonyms) spoke to me very little on the way to the station, but the questions they did ask were sympathetic. They wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing – as a minor (technically), I was a runaway. It didn’t matter that I was several weeks shy of 18, I was a minor. They made sure I understood that there was a very good chance I would be sent home with my parents anyway. I understood. I had just come too far to turn back now.
We got to the station and they led me into a room. I’d only been in there a few minutes when Officer Barney came in with the attorney the Kline’s had found for me. Attorney Dana* said she’d called protective services and pulled some strings but that, unless I could prove the engagement and that it was against my will, I would likely have to go home to my parents. I’d have to emancipate myself if I couldn’t prove their was abuse and that process was likely to take longer than my turning 18. Proving the engagement was pretty easy. I had a ring. When I got to the Kline’s, I’d taken it off my finger and tossed it into my bag. Since my possessions were taken from me when we entered the station, the ring was retrieved and catalogued as “evidence”. Then there was my journal. The journal I kept could be used as evidence. The problem was that I had left it behind. The only way to get it would be through my parents and you can imagine how asking for it might not work out. We decided to call my brother and see if he could get to our house and get it under the auspices of getting me some “modest clothing”. It worked. We got my journal.